Off My Mind: What Does Steve Rogers' Return as Captain America Mean for Bucky?

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Posted by gmanfromheck (42020 posts) - - Show Bio

Steve Rogers is returning to the role of Captain America. This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. We've already seen the solicit for the upcoming Captain America #1. There's also the fact that a Captain America movie is out next month and makes it necessary for Steve Rogers to be in the costume.

Since his death (which was actually a scheme of the Red Skull to trap Rogers in the timestream and force him to relive moments of his life), Bucky Barnes, Cap's original sidekick, has taken the mantle of Captain America. Bucky has grown into the role and it's been great seeing him in action. Regardless, I still considered Steve Rogers to be the Captain America.


The question is, what event could make Steve don the costume once again? He's made it clear that he doesn't really want the role. For one, it was never his intention to be a leader or a symbol. He just wanted to serve his country. Second, from his journey through the timestream, he saw the future and knew if Bucky wasn't Captain America, it would result in his death. Based on the events in FEAR ITSELF #3, the reason for Steve's return might be clear. Does his return to Captain America mean the end for Bucky?

== TEASER ==

Steve Rogers as Captain America just makes sense. Just as Bruce Wayne returned to the role of Batman even though Dick Grayson had taken over in his absence, we've been expecting Steve to return to being Cap. Bruce Wayne's return resulted in multiple Batmen and Batman, Incorporated. Why does Steve's return to being Cap have to mean that Bucky can't continue as Captain America as well? (From the looks of things, Bucky might not even survive to see Steve as Cap once again). This is one of the differences between Marvel and DC. DC is willing to have multiple Batmen, Green Lanterns, Flashes, etc. We don't really see multiple Marvel characters with the same name.


Because of the military angle, why can't we have more than one Captain? With all the parallels between Cap and Batman, would it be possible to have a Captain America Corps? There is actually a Captain America Corps miniseries coming up and we do have other...patriotic heroes. The miniseries is dealing with the different Cap-based characters pulled from different points in the timestream but why can't we have an actual team of Captain Americas?

As Steve often puts it, Captain America is a symbol. With all the fear and loss of faith during FEAR ITSELF, doesn't America need more than just one symbol of hope right now? Bucky is too good of a character to simply be killed off. Since his return as the Winter Soldier, Bucky has evolved beyond what anyone thought possible. With everything he went through during The Trial of Captain America and his time in the Russian gulag, there's too much storytelling to just see the character fade away to Comic Book Limbo.

There could be confusion having multiple Caps running around but it would immediately be clear which was the real deal. Despite his reluctance to be a leader, that is what he is. Heroes (and gods) will take orders from him without a second thought.


As for what it is that causes Steve to abandon his Commander Rogers/Super Soldier identity and return to Captain America, it's safe to say it's due to Bucky's injury at the hands of the Asgardian-enhanced Sin. Steve will feel responsible for Bucky's injury since he kept pushing him to retain the identity. Sin is Steve's enemy since she is the daughter of Red Skull. Steve will feel it is his duty to take her down. What better and fitting way to do so than as Captain America. That will add a little bit of a psychological edge when facing Sin and make the victory even sweeter. Let's just hope that even Captain America has what it takes to take on Sin and the Asgardian Serpent.

Steve may be back as Captain America but it doesn't have to mean the end for Bucky. I mentioned before what I'd like to see happen to him. Steve needs to be Cap but let's hope it doesn't result in Bucky having to die.

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#1 Posted by cmaprice (864 posts) - - Show Bio

Poor Bucky.

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#2 Posted by Cervantes (655 posts) - - Show Bio

They won't toss him now that he's been so well-accepted.

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#3 Posted by Mercy_ (94464 posts) - - Show Bio

I will ragequit if they kill Bucky. I already HATE that they're making Steve Cap again just because of the freaking movie (which looks awesome, btw) and if they kill Bucky off I will be incredibly disappointed and angry.

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#4 Posted by leokearon (1970 posts) - - Show Bio

iS Bucky dead or just horribly injured?
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#5 Edited by FadeToBlackBolt (23390 posts) - - Show Bio

I love Steve as Cap, because I generally hate Legacy characters, unless they're just superior to their predecessors (see Wally West and Kyle Rayner). 
I don't want Bucky to die, but I'm glad he's not Captain America anymore. It's just not any old title; it's like Batman, it's more than a mask, the man makes the identity.

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#6 Posted by Fnz (42 posts) - - Show Bio

it's just me or Cpt America Corps smells a little bit "Batman Inc" ?

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#7 Posted by JonesDeini (3867 posts) - - Show Bio

It means that once again Hollywood's dictating the stories in our comics...

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#8 Posted by Pinhead230280 (66 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe the found Captain America Inc. and after a while they reboot the hole universe

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#9 Posted by lb70145 (263 posts) - - Show Bio

No Captain America corps, but I think this would be a perfect opportunity for Bucky to make a name for himself. Have Bucky take on a new patriotic moniker, there done. While I am happy to see Steve back where he is, what does that mean for SHIELD? Nick Fury again? Maria *cringes*? Interesting things to come, that's for sure.

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#10 Posted by TypingKira (3555 posts) - - Show Bio

Darnit Bucky, why do bad things keep happening to you? you're a nice person!  
On another note:  

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#11 Edited by TheBlueAngel93 (21064 posts) - - Show Bio

First off, the ONLY reason Steve is returning to the role is because of the Captain America movie. Not because of some master plan, not because of something Marvel has had planned for the past few years. No, it's because for some random reason, Marvel thinks that if Steve isn't behind the mask when the movie comes out, Captain America won't sell.
Secondly, CAPTAIN AMERICA IS NOT BATMAN! They are not the same character, they represent two completely different things, and to compare them is wrong. One thing Batman and Cap have in common are that they are both symbols. But the big difference is that Batman IS Bruce Wayne, we've heard it a million times over and we've read about it in the comics. Bruce is the mask, where Batman is his true face. This is partly the main reason why Dick could never remain Batman, because Batman isn't just a name that can be taken up, it's who Bruce Wayne is. Captain America on the other hand is a symbol in a whole other, and Steve has made point of this many times over his career and we've seen how Captain America is more than Steve Rogers. After Steve died during WWII,  we saw over the next few decades different people like the Patriot and 50's Cap take up the role of Captain America. Sure some people have handled the role better, and some have even cracked under the pressure. But the fact is, even if the soldier dies, the symbol of what Captain America will live on. And that's what makes the difference.
As for Steve returning to the role now, Ed Brubaker has "claimed" to have planned on Steve returning to the role right after he "killed" him off right after Captain America #25, but supposedly after seeing how people reacted to Bucky, they "decided" to wait a bit longer before they brought him back. But I find it interesting how of ALL the times to bring him back, it just so happens to be right when the movie's coming out....great timing, right?
The point is, Marvel is a afraid of change. In my opinion, killing Steve off was the best thing for the character, it not only closed the door to one era, but opened the door for a new one as well. With Bucky behind the mask, we saw something we've never really seen with Steve: A Captain America who is still learning what it means to be a symbol and hero. Since the very beginning, we've never really got to see Steve struggle with being Captain America, he just seemed to figure it out on his own. But with Bucky, we got to see someone who doesn't know what it means to be a symbol of something bigger than one man. With Bucky behind the mask, we were able to see a character who has so much to live up to, so much responsibility, and to see as Bucky continue to slowly grow and learn what it truly means to be Captain America, it was really something refreshing. And I believe that it helped people better understand what it means to BE Captain America because we're right there WITH Bucky as he learns and grows within the role. We're there when he makes mistakes, we're there when he has doubts, and we're there when he would ask himself, "What would Steve do?" And to me personally, we'll never get that with Steve.
This is not about who's better at being Captain America, there's no debate that Steve is the greatest Captain America. But is doesn't hurt to try, to see someone take up the burden, to see one man try to literally live up to something that is so much more than himself, it's interesting thing to experience; and it's something we were able to see first hand with Bucky.
As for the question: "Can there be two Captain America's?" Short answer: Yes. And in truth, it would make sense. Like I have pointed out above, Captain America is something greater than any one man. It represents the best of not what this nation has to offer, but the very core of what this nation was built upon has to offer: Freedom. The point is, Steve has been fighting this fight for literally decades, so why not have some help? Why not have two Captain America's? I mean even looking at it from a business standpoint, with a Captain America move coming out, wouldn't it make more sense to have TWO titles with a guy called Captain America in them, wouldn't that make even MORE money?
But to try and wrap this up, I'm very disappointing in Marvel. I'm a guy who started reading comic books right when Bucky became Cap, I've been with him ever step as he slowly grew and learned what it meant to wield that mighty shield. And I've truly gained a love for the character so that I'm truly hurt to see all of that taken away, even if Bucky does survive, it still feels as if Marvel has stolen what made the character so interesting over these past few years. Something new. With the Death of Captain America, we so the end of a one era and the beginning of a new one, we so the death of one hero and the birth of a new one. With Steve's death, saw many new doors were opened, so many new adventures, and saw many new stories that could have gone on for years to come. But with Steve's return, all of those doors are now forever shut and I fear that we may never fully know what was on the other side.

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#12 Posted by jerfro23 (98 posts) - - Show Bio

1.nice to see steve back as cap 
2.hope they dont kill off buck do really need that
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#13 Posted by Chane (557 posts) - - Show Bio

I hope it's a fake out, but I'm guessing it's not.

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#14 Posted by CATPANEXE (9505 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't like Bucky being pulled from the mantle.

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#15 Posted by _Grifter_ (12984 posts) - - Show Bio

Why can't they just make Bucky U.S.Agent? 

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#16 Posted by dragorith (18 posts) - - Show Bio

Bruce Wayne and Steve Rogers are two characters that would have preferred to remain dead, and not out of dislike for the characters or anything. Steve's return worked a little better for me because of the symbolism of his death (signified change to a darker world) and rebirth (symbolized the end of Dark Reign). I was not and am not a fan of Bruce's return.

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#17 Posted by alejandrosato1977 (18 posts) - - Show Bio

well, maybe there is gonna be the captain America corps starting with American panther

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#18 Posted by Eyz (3187 posts) - - Show Bio
@Grift3r said:
Why can't they just make Bucky U.S.Agent? 
I'd prefer to keep our regular USAgent be USAgent...
Maybe call Bucky something else/new and keep his modern Captain America costume?
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#19 Posted by cattlebattle (15482 posts) - - Show Bio
@alejandrosato1977 said:
well, maybe there is gonna be the captain America corps starting with American panther
God, I hope not
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#20 Posted by alejandrosato1977 (18 posts) - - Show Bio
@cattlebattle: I also hope so, the drawing of American panther just made me roll my eyes and hope its a nightmare :)
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#21 Posted by Mr. Fanboy (12 posts) - - Show Bio

In an article on Comic Book Resources last week, Tom Breevort was definitely speaking  as if Bucky was dead, and if anyone would know, it's him. Looks like he's a goner, unless Marvel is just lying to us. The article in question:

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#22 Edited by stuamerica (335 posts) - - Show Bio
@Mr. Fanboy said:
unless Marvel is just lying to us.  

Wouldn't be the first time.  There should be only one Cap.  I am torn on which it should be.  Nostalgia or looking forward.  Both have worked brilliantly (oddly enough) 
Either way, Bucky should live and continue his growth as a character.   
Personally, I would like to see him become U.S. Agent, but another moniker could work as well.
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#23 Posted by chalkshark (1271 posts) - - Show Bio

He didn't look injured to me, at the end of Fear Itself #3. He looked quite dead. The image of him laid out on a slab seems to confirm it. Let's say, though, that somehow, he survived having one end of a giant hammer shoved through his heart... as people often do. Having Barnes declared dead would resolve all future legal issues any other country might want to levy against him, in the future. It closes the doors on a lot of potential problems regarding the Winter Soldier. With Rogers assuming the mantle of Captain America, & no doubt his rightful place among the Avengers, Barnes would be perfect in the role of leader for the "Secret" Avengers.  Heading a covert strike force would be a better fit for Barnes, than it ever was for Rogers. I'd play it so the reader knew it was Barnes, but the team did not. After his "death", his survival would be a closely guarded state secret. Maybe Black Widow knows, so you could continue their romance. It would also justify the secret part of the "Secret Avengers" name, by actually giving the characters secrets, as opposed to just having their missions be secret.

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#24 Posted by hitechlolife (194 posts) - - Show Bio

I thought Bucky's fate was essentially confirmed. Unless they put it out there as a red herring.

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#25 Posted by HaHaManHV (384 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think Bucky should die, in fact I think the opposite. If Bucky was killed it would lessen the value of so much of Brubaker's run on Cap. He should survive and mold his own identity as a hero. something he desperately needs after being used then and trying to fill Steve's shoes. His character needs to strike out on his own and find his own strength through that. 

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#26 Posted by SirSparkington (344 posts) - - Show Bio
@War Killer: My hat's off to you. Agreed 100% with what you said.
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#27 Posted by Dedpool (656 posts) - - Show Bio

US AGENT!!!! It makes so much sense. Make the suit a mix of his Bucky Cap, The Us Agent, and Winer Soldier look.
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#28 Posted by Robrat93 (57 posts) - - Show Bio

It definately looked like Bucky was dead but this is comics, anything can happen so im not gona jump to conclusions. And i know Rogers is THE Captain America but i loved him so much more as Super-Soldier security dude, it just seemed to me like natural progression after working with S.H.I.E.L.D.

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#29 Posted by Chibi-Iroh (390 posts) - - Show Bio

As comic book fans why are we always so keen to kill off a character? Is it because we know they are going to come back?

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#30 Posted by fodigg (6239 posts) - - Show Bio

I guess he can go back to being Nightwi— I mean Winter Soldier.

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#31 Posted by SleepyDrug (78 posts) - - Show Bio

Welcome back are irreplacable.
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#32 Posted by Doctor!!!!! (2135 posts) - - Show Bio

Some people I know say... "where did he go?"

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#33 Posted by Emperormeister734 (895 posts) - - Show Bio

Well it's a sad day for Bucky Barnes in return a Living Legend returns flinging his shield against evil

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#34 Posted by Shieldbearer (84 posts) - - Show Bio
No more than Batman R.I.P was to The Death of Captain America.
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#35 Posted by Static Shock (51277 posts) - - Show Bio

It's about time.
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#36 Posted by Shieldbearer (84 posts) - - Show Bio

You know what you call a group of captains without any enlisted? All Chiefs and no indians.
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#37 Posted by waruikumo (364 posts) - - Show Bio

According the the Captain America Corps - It doesn't seem Bucky is dead. 
I'm ok with whatever Brubaker does with the character.  
What Fraction does on the other hand.......

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#38 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29887 posts) - - Show Bio

Probably dropping all Cap books due to this bullsh*ttery.... 

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#39 Posted by AskaniSon295 (453 posts) - - Show Bio

would Love to see Buck take on the role of Super-Soldier and become his own hero. Would love to
see some of the more modern marvel characters that have been introduced in the last Decade to be a team Like Ronin (Maya Lopez or someone new) and  Marvel Boy.

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#40 Posted by Joe Venom (1290 posts) - - Show Bio

Yea its about time for his moment in the spotlight to come to an end, oh well I hope he comes back as the Winter Solider, Bucky + long hair =Ownage

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#41 Posted by ArtisticNeedham (2698 posts) - - Show Bio

I liked your idea you mentioned before, he should become the new US Agent.
Bucky has become too good a character to kill off again.

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#42 Posted by DKing_CiCADA (349 posts) - - Show Bio

I like everything how it is. I want Bucky as Cap and Steve as The super soldier, but I guess comics should just not follow what the fans want.

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#43 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6958 posts) - - Show Bio

I've always liked Bucky, but he's just not Steve.  While many can no doubt fill the role of being Captain America, Steve is the only one proven to be worthy, at least in my opinion.

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#44 Posted by The Hottness (4207 posts) - - Show Bio

They better not kill Bucky, or im done with Marvel. There's no reason to kill him other then shock value.
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#45 Posted by dewboy01 (2362 posts) - - Show Bio

okay so is this, what?... life exchange?
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#46 Posted by Sergotron (108 posts) - - Show Bio

I really hated seeing Bucky go, he has easily become a favorite of mine. I understand why they needed Steve back in the roll, but they did they have to kill off Bucky?

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#47 Posted by goldenkey (3033 posts) - - Show Bio

Is Steve going to continue running shield?  If he doesn't then this is lame.  One year is not long enough to try it out so if it works.
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#48 Posted by ImperiousRix (1144 posts) - - Show Bio

I knew that, with the movie looming, Marvel would find some way to make Steve Cap again, either for good or just as a temporary angle. 
I'm not certain whether Bucky will survive or not.  It'd seem silly to build him up and support him again only to kill him off when he's reached a level of prominence.  As many have said, with John Walker in his current position and state, the US Agent moniker is up for grabs.  If he survives, I could see them sticking Bucky with that.

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#49 Posted by UnosInfinitos (150 posts) - - Show Bio

Next on OFF My Mind: Wolverine back to being canadian!

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#50 Posted by THEBlaqueBasterd (384 posts) - - Show Bio
@goldenkey: Mehh Jay Z was President of Def Jam for a yr then went right back to to being Hova after lol..strange (but fitting) example ..I know

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